Increasing Varietal Suitability and Availability of Cowpea and Forage Radish Cover Crop Seed for Northern Climates

November 15, 2016

With support from a $199,776 Research and Education grant, the Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Farm Breeding Club and university partners at NDSU, SDSU, UW-Madison, and the University of Puerto Rico, have been evaluating cowpeas and daikon radish from around the world for use and seed production in the Dakotas. On-farm evaluation, selection, and evolutionary participatory breeding is being conducted on forage radish on certified organic and low-input farms in ND, SD, and WI.

The team is evaluating multiple accessions of forage radish and cowpea for cover crop characteristics, grazing potential, and seed production. They are measuring cover crop seed yields and testing weights. In conjunction with the agronomic research, the team is working with seed industry partners to evaluate market potential and identify market channels for the seed they produce.

They hope that this project will increase production, seed supply, markets, and utilization. They hope to enhance crop diversity, resilience, profitability, and overall sustainability.

View Frank's presentation on this project, from the 2015 Farmers Forum, through NCR-SARE's YouTube playlist. Visit for this and other videos.

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Topics: Peas (Field, Cowpeas), Radish (Oilseed, Daikon, Forage)
Related Locations: North Central